Little Warnings Can Prevent Big Trouble

Published 5:48 pm Friday, June 3, 2016

In my better than four decades of operating motor vehicles, it has been extremely rare that the engine low oil pressure indicator on any of the vehicles—cars, trucks, or tractors—has ever alerted me of an engine problem. So when one of my cars developed a problem a few months back that the mechanic diagnosed as a computer malfunction I did not know that I would come to realize afresh how valuable a properly working oil pressure sensor is.

When the computer was replaced something happened to the communication between the computer and some of the warning indicators. Included among the indicators that did not work properly was the low oil pressure warning light. Since it is an old car that we mostly use locally, and since historically it was extremely rare for my vehicles to send a low oil pressure warning, I figured I could get by with an inaccurate warning light. It was annoying that the little red light stayed on every time we used the car, but I learned to live with it.

Gale had driven the car to work, exposing the spot where it had been parked. When I stopped by the house for a few minutes during the day I noticed a huge pool of motor oil in the driveway—the engine had developed a significant leak! I went by the school to verify what I suspected; when I pulled the dipstick to check the oil level there was nothing to dip—it was dangerously low. A deeper inspection revealed the problem; it was a small and inexpensive component that had gone bad, but if I had not discovered it quickly the engine would have been destroyed.

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Thankfully I was able to purchase the failed part and replace it without having to take it to the shop. Without the oil pressure indicator functioning properly unbeknownst to me a problem emerged that could have caused a catastrophic engine failure. I am reminded afresh of how valuable simple warnings can be and what trouble they can prevent if we will pay attention to them.

The Lord has provided His children with warnings that can spare them from much heartache and destruction if they are heeded. As the apostle Paul wrote to the young church in Corinth, he cited events from the history of ancient Israel that he stated were to serve as warnings to them; those warnings still hold true for us today. As he reminded them of God’s provisions for the Israelites he also described their rebellion and the price they paid for their refusal to follow God’s commands. In 1 Corinthians 10:11-12 we find these words: “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (New International Version).

If we will take time to look in God’s Word we will find warnings placed there for our benefit and use. We cannot afford to neglect them, for to do so will result in spiritual tragedy. But if we will pay attention to and respond to God’s warnings He will always guide us to the path that pleases Him. Psalm 19 acknowledges the benefits of following God’s commands as the writer declares, “By them is Your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:11).

God’s warnings might seem small at times, but they will prevent big trouble when we heed them.